Growing up as a curvy desi girl is rough in a size zero, blonde hair, blue-eyed world. I never felt “pretty enough.” Maybe it was the smell of chicken tikka masala perpetually coming from my hair. Or perhaps the muffin top due to my palak paneer addiction?
Yea, I’m never giving up palak paneer so there’s that. But what to do about these insecurities? Look, I’m not going to sugar-coat it, my insecurities wax and wane. But powerhouse influencers like beauty blogger Nabela Noor are breaking barriers by actively working to create a more inclusive view of beauty. She has built her brand on body positivity, self-love, and girl power. And in the process of doing all that, she has helped me, and countless others like me reassess our beauty and worth in society.
I am a woman. I am Muslim. I am a first generation American. It was so incredible to see so much of me represented and defended at the Women’s March today in Los Angeles. I am honored to be here with @soapandgloryusa for their #MoreThanLips campaign. I admire brands that are willing to be a part of such an important conversation. Together we are reminding the world that we are strong, we are bold and we are equal. ✊🏾✊🏿✊🏽✊🏻✊🏼#womensmarch #partner
Her message resonates with so many women on so many different levels. There’s a reason for that, too. She gets it, she gets us and is real about topics that other beauty bloggers don’t address.
Noor is a Bangladeshi-American YouTuber from Pennsylvania. She creates makeup tutorials, vlogs, and comedy skits. Through her videos, she expresses her views on more personal topics, such as bullying, her struggles with weight, receiving hate comments, her religious views, being a brown girl in America, self-love, the hardships of dating/marrying someone outside her race and religion, and more.
Being a Muslim, Bangladeshi-American myself, it was easy to relate to her struggles of facing Islamaphobia and being ostracized for how we interpret our religion. You’re always too “American” to fit in with Bengalis but “too Bengali” to fit in with Americans. How she faced bullies, both IRL and online allowed her to connect with followers on a personal level.
Another thing that makes Noor so relatable is how upfront she is about her own insecurities and how she grapples with the criticism she receives.
Inspite of feeling these pangs of pain, she has not allowed the haters or her own insecurities hold her down, which is why her “This Is Me” video on Instagram has touched millions of women.
It is a powerful video of her crossing out the hurtful words and promoting self-love with the song “This Is Me” by Keala Settle, from the film “The Greatest Showman.”
THIS IS ME 💪🏽 In 2017, I was called a pig, fat, ugly, a monster… I was told I should kill myself because of how I look. I received thousands of messages like this all year & there have been times where I let those words destroy me. But as my confidence strengthened, I became a fortress of self-love that could not be broken by the words of unhappy people. I learned quickly that happy people don’t say hurtful things. And that happiness begins with self-love. The girl I see in the mirror is beautiful with and without makeup, whether I am a size 6 or a size 16. So as 2018 begins, I’m leaving behind all of the words that once hurt me – all of the doubt that once controlled me. No one can tell us who we are. We are glorious. We are beautiful. We are worthy. This video is a small victory in my self-love revolution & I can’t wait to continue the fight in 2018. I am not the things they say I am. I will never be reduced to their words. I am brave, I am strong, I am who I’m meant to be. This is me. 💖 P R O D U C T S // @farsalicare unicorn essence @beautyblender @maybelline master camo color correcting pen @urbandecaycosmetics brow box, naked skin concealer, blush in “video” @jouercosmetics lipliner tawny rose @doseofcolors liquid lip in truffle @toofaced chocolate gold palette, born this way concealer & peel off glitter liner @maccosmetics @patrickstarrr #macpatrickstarrr setting powder @kkwbeauty contour kit @hudabeauty jade lashes & winter solstice palette SONG: “This is Me” Cover by @emoniwilkins & @the7thaveband. Originally sung by @KealaSettle from the incredible movie #thegreatestshowman #wakeupandmakeup #tarte #hudabeauty #toofaced #makeup #tutorial #diy #instatut #beauty #makeuptutorial #wtfbeautyhacks #1minutemakeup #beautylook #benefitcosmetics #allmodernmakeup #makeupclips #eyeblogbeauty #hairmakeupdiary #makegirlz #beautyqueens4ever #melformakeup #transformation #peachyqueenblog
Noor used the hurtful words people have directed at her to become stronger. Her family and her husband Seth have provided her with a strong support system as well.
(Side note: Seth is #HusbandGoals. He is featured in many of her videos providing comic relief as perhaps the brownest white boy you’ll ever see. The couple has also created a separate channel together to vlog their daily life and Noor promises to be more active on that channel this year. I hope so!)
Noor has collaborated with many other beauty bloggers like Irene Sarah Khan, Loey Lane, Sharifa Easmin, Andrea (of Andrea’s Choice). She also collaborates with makeup companies like Too Faced and was a part of Beauty Con. Recently, she was at a women’s march in Los Angelos representing the company Soap and Glory.
My sisters are my driving force in all that I do – I want them to be heard and seen and respected. I want my sisters, my nieces, my BELLA BABES to feel empowered and know that their voices will not be silenced. So I’m so honored to join @soapandgloryusa this Saturday at the #womensmarchla in support of their #MoreThanLips campaign. It is such a blessing to be able to use my platform to stand up for equality & sisterhood. These are things we should ALL believe in. #soapandgloryusa #partner
Noor is the voice of hope and encouragement to her followers and she is constantly proving that she is a worthy role model in the world of beauty and beyond.